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Ebola. Missionaries. Blood. Jesus.

Ebola. Missionaries. Blood. Jesus.

Sara Marie Moore | Oct 9, 2014

Dr. Kent Brantly was the first American to contract the Ebola virus this summer and be treated in the U.S.; he miraculously survived. Brantly was a medical missionary in Liberia, which has become plagued with the disease this summer. Another missionary, Nancy Writebol, soon followed. Then came Dr. Rick Sacra, another missionary. All three contracted a deadly disease because they chose to live for the least of these out of their love for Jesus. I can’t help seeing a testimony to Jesus in the current Ebola crisis. Brantly was able to donate blood to Sacra to aid in his recovery by providing antibodies. And on Tuesday Brantly donated blood again - to American photojournalist Ashoka Mukpo, who contracted the disease and returned to the U.S. this week.   It’s not hard to see the parallel to Jesus’ life and his blood given on the cross, which is able to give us eternal life. Jesus rescued us from the deadly disease of sin through giving his blood. Jesus’ sacrifice to give us life also required his very life; but that is, in fact, what is required of everyone who wants to follow Christ.   Christianity is not a social activity, not entertainment. These missionaries remind us that living out our Christian faith requires the same sacrifice of us all - the giving up of our lives. While fear spreads throughout America about the dreaded disease hitting American soil uncontained, Christians can rest. We have already given our lives away.   Wednesday’s death of Thomas Eric Duncan, the native Liberian who unwittingly transported the disease uncontained across the ocean and was the first to be diagnosed and die in the U.S., should be a wake-up call to the American church. The Huffinton Post reports that Duncan, a churchgoer, was likely an unaware good samaritan who attempted to bring his convulsing and pregnant neighbor to the hospital, where she was rejected due to space. Others who helped her thought she had problems with her pregnancy, but she died the next day and was determined to be the first Ebola case in the area. Duncan’s Liberian neighborhood is now ravaged by the disease.   Rather than being angry at Duncan for bringing the disease to America, we should be awakened to the pains occurring on the other side of the ocean. Death, disease and more death. Let fear turn into compassion. Jesus saw our death and disease, and rather than forgetting about us, he came and healed us and gave us eternal life. The least we can do for those suffering is pray and choose to hurt for them. Duncan’s story gives us the opportunity to remember the thousands suffering in Liberia.   It’s time to do what we can to love the world. It starts with compassion and it ends with suffering alongside the least of these.

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